Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reasons NOT to Get a Guinea Pig

After having several guinea pigs returned to me, I realized that (as with many pets) people may not be prepared to bring them into their homes and give them a lifetime of proper care. So, here is my list of reasons for NOT getting a guinea pig:
1. You don't like getting your hands dirty. (which translates into, you don't like cleaning cages, touching poop, possibly giving baths, brushing your guinea pig or getting peed on occasionally)
2. You don't like noisy little beggars. Guinea pigs get used to a feeding schedule, and will squeak LOUDLY to get your attention, and a treat.
3. You don't like cuddling. Guinea pigs love to snuggle in your lap or on your chest.
4. You don't like animals that shed. (self-explanatory)
5. You can't afford to take your guinea pig to the vet if it gets sick, because it will probably cost you more than a dog or cat visit, and you have to find a vet who will treat exotic animals.
6. You're allergic to hay. Guinea pigs MUST have hay in their diet.
7. You want to keep it in the smallest cage possible to save space and money. Guinea pigs NEED space to run around and, well, act like guinea pigs.
So, if you don't find any of these things appealing in the least, a guinea pig is not for you!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fluffy, aka Foofer

This is our newest arrival, five-year-old Fluffy, or "Foofer" as she was also called, so we use both names. She's a cute little silkie; Morgan has already brushed her and she is settling in well. I've put her cage next to Buttercup's so she has someone to visit with.
Speaking of Buttercup, she is actually not as hyper or loud as her previous owner described, so I think she's just happy to be back here! I have a feeling she will also be a permanent resident now, haha!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guinea Pigs and the Central NY SPCA

When I started taking in guinea pigs six years ago, I got a few from someone who would pick them up from the CNYSPCA in Mattydale for free, then she would place an ad in the paper and accept a $15 donation to the SPCA. Apparently things have changed a lot since then; now the shelter is charging over $30 per guinea pig (Lollypop Farm in Fairport asks $15 apiece). That's the same price as most pet stores!
I have also heard stories of wounded guinea pigs not receiving medical care, and someone who donated fresh carrots found out later that they were all given to the rabbits and none to the guinea pigs that were there.
I certainly don't expect the SPCA to give guinea pigs away for free; I know they need money and the staff is very overworked, but I do believe the animals all need to be taken care of. Part of me wants to try to give them a hand, but part of me is unhappy (with the guinea pig and other situations) to the point where I almost don't want to deal with them at all. On top of all this, I physically do not have anymore room in my house to take in more pigs at this point, so if I do decide to work with the SPCA it would have to be put on hold until I have more space.